Thank You and Good Night.
During session, senators’ inboxes are flooded with emails pleading them to vote a certain way. But, the emails that shine through – the emails that just might trigger a smile or reinforce a decision – are the “thank you” emails. It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare – quite the contrary.
Gratitude may be shown in all caps with a big, bold, THANK YOU in the subject line or a professional, factual, paragraph of recognition.
Looking for a Senator’s email addresses? They are listed on the Legislature’s website.
Want to find the vote count on a bill? Go to the bill’s page, scroll through the actions, find the one you are looking for, and then click on the corresponding page number under “journal”. For example: LB 83 bill page “Advanced to Enrollment and Review” journal page. At the bottom of the page, you can see the 25 Senators who voted to advance LB 83.
By thanking a senator for their vote, you are acknowledging your approval, recognizing the time they spent debating an issue you care about, and letting them know you are paying attention.
During some of the more contentious debates, a senator’s inbox, mailbox, and ears are consumed by interests on all sides of an issue. Make your appreciation known when they vote or take action in your favor. Nebraska State Senators are citizen legislators earning $12,000/year and a small per diem – one of the lowest in the country. Yes, they are doing the peoples work. Yes, they volunteered to serve. And, yes, they were elected to do a job.
But, this is politics. We know that often the facts and merits alone won’t pass or kill a bill. Ultimately, the fate of legislation lies with the 49 people who choose to press their buttons – red or green. When you thank them for that decision, you can be the voice that shines through the noise.
After all, “late nights” begin this week. For most scheduled “late nights”, the Legislature will adjourn around 7:00pm, but as history tells us, there will be some nights that go well past bedtime. There may even be an 11:59 pm marathon or two.
Late nights – where the natural light that beams into the Capitol from the windows dims, and the ghosts, stories, and votes from late nights past haunt the rotunda.
All bets are off during late nights.